Pros and cons of managed SASE

AmerCareRoyal, which provides disposable products for the food service and hospitality industries, is the product of six mergers and acquisitions over the past several years, and its former network security setup couldn’t keep up.

Jeff DeSandre, who joined the company as CIO in 2019, wanted an SD-WAN platform that came with more advanced management options and firewalls. After looking at the market, he added threat detection and response capabilities to his wish list. “I was focused on getting our arms quickly around our wide area network and securing our edge, and then making sure that the solution I went with could scale to my long-term roadmap,” he says.

Secure access service edge, or SASE, fit the bill.

First coined by Gartner in 2019, SASE is a network architecture that combines SD-WAN with security services, including secure web access gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), zero-trust network access (ZTNA), and firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), in a single, cloud-delivered service model.

SASE adoption is moving fast, with Gartner predicting 80% of enterprises will have adopted a SASE architecture by 2025. But SASE implementation can be challenging.

AmerCareRoyal’s existing IT staff didn’t have the proper training to set up and maintain a new networking and security implementation, and hiring more people wasn’t a viable option. It can be difficult to hire and retain architect-grade networking talent when a company’s core product isn’t technology, says DeSandre. “It is equally difficult to support a 24-7-365 network operations center to maintain operations properly,”

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